You may have noticed that there are exactly 6 (SIX) salad recipes on this website and, ahem, 34 dessert recipes. The reason? Well, you see, I basically judge my worthiness as a human being based the number of Pins my recipes get on Pinterest. Salads (shockingly) just don’t achieve nearly the results of fluffy vegan pancakes or one ingredient ice cream. Basically what I am trying to say is, this is all your fault. I’m merely a dutiful public servant who develops culinary creations that the people demand. If only you guys would Pin, like, retweet, and +1 these delicious salads as much as desserts, this imbalance could easily be corrected. Or, I can just continue making desserts. 🙂
Now, a quick rant about salads: I don’t even care that they are healthy, salads are some of the most versatile, flexible, quick, affordable, and delicious meals you can create. It’s such a shame that the word “salad” often conjures images of wilted iceberg lettuce topped with a glob of bottled ranch dressing. Salads can be so much more than that, people.
Take this one, for example. It’s simply shredded green cabbage with perfectly-seasoned baked tofu (trust me, the tofu is the best part) tossed with a light and fragrant sesame dressing. As a side dish or even a light main course, you really couldn’t do better. The flavors are great together, the tofu is amazing, and it’s a perfectly balanced bowl of nutrition.
Makes 1 gigantic salad
- 16 oz extra-firm tofu
- 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 head of green cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 4 green onions
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Black pepper, for garnish
preheat the oven to 350º F
Cut 16 oz of extra-firm tofu into cubes (I cheated and bought mine already cubed) and use a few paper towels to press them down and squeeze out the excess water. Then, add the cubes to a large mixing bowl and drizzle in 1 1/2 tablespoons of each soy sauce and maple syrup, and gently toss to coat.
Transfer the tofu cubes to a baking sheet and bake for about 30-35 minutes, removing from the oven every 10 minutes to toss with a spatula so that all sides develop a perfectly golden brown exterior. This tofu develops such a flavorful crust and the perfect texture; it really is the best part of the dish.
Meanwhile, chop one head of green cabbage into thin slices (or buy pre-shredded cabbage) and add to a big salad bowl. Then, grate two carrots and slice 4 green onions. Throw them into the bowl as well.
We can make an amazingly simple and delicious dressing for this salad by combining about 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Whisk this together and set aside (we’ll dress the salad in the next step).
When the tofu is finished, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Then, add it into the salad as well and toss with the dressing until everything is evenly coated. For best results, stick the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or two until the tofu has chilled and all the ingredients have marinated in this delicious dressing.
To serve, divide into serving bowls and sprinkle on some sesame seeds and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.